Dahani, Nawaz, Maqsood shine as National T20 Cup rolls on

Sindh are currently at the top of the points table

Dahani, Nawaz, Maqsood shine as National T20 Cup rolls on PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

An all-round effort took Sindh to the top of the National T20 table as they thrashed Balochistan by 77 runs in the ninth match of the National T20 played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi on Wednesday evening. The victory was Sindh’s third in as many matches, they now have six points and are at the top of the six-team points table.

Set a 176-run target, Balochistan were blown away by the Sindh bowling attack led by Shahnawaz Dahani, Zahid Mahmood and Danish Aziz who took nine wickets between them. Balochistan were bowled out for 98 in 16.4 overs. Fast bowler Shahnawaz took four wickets for 12 runs in 2.4 overs, leg-spinner Zahid took three for 18 in four and Danish took two for 23 in his four overs of left-arm-spin.

Shahnawaz has now taken eight wickets in three matches and he is currently the joint-leading wicket-taker along with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Balochistan openers Abdul Wahid Bangalzai and Imamul Haq got the team off to a 46-run start. However, the chased fell away as soon as Imam was dismissed for 19 runs.

Balochistan lost all ten wickets for an addition of 52 runs as their batters failed while attempting big shots. Abdul Wahid top-scored with 29 off 23 balls (five fours).

Bismillah Khan with 12 runs was the only other batter to reach double figures as the whole team was bowled out with 20 balls to spare.

Earlier, Sindh captain Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to bat first. The left-handed opening pair of Sharjeel Khan and Shan Masood provided the side a flying start of 52 runs in 6.2 overs. Sharjeel who hit three sixes and one four in a typically aggressive 34 off 20 balls fell to Umaid Asif.

Khurram Manzoor was dismissed for 10 while Shan got run out a ball after hitting a big six, his 30-ball innings off 31 included three fours and one six.

Saud Shakeel contributed 32 off 24 balls (four fours). Saud added 55 runs for the fourth-wicket with Sarfaraz.

Sarfaraz added 39 runs for the unbroken fifth-wicket alliance with Anwar Ali (22 off 13 balls). The wicketkeeper-batsman top-scored for his side with an unbeaten 41 off 25 balls that included three fours and a six off Umaid (last ball of the Sindh innings).

Kashif Bhatti, Umaid and Khurram Shahzad took a wicket apiece for Balochistan.

Nawaz, Haider and Shadab guide Northern to victory

An impressive batting performance earned Northern a five-wicket win over Southern Punjab in the tenth match of the National T20 played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi on Wednesday night.

All-rounder Mohammad Nawaz (player-of-the-match) made full use of two dropped chances as he scored an unbeaten 56 off 35 balls (six fours, two sixes) to spearhead his side’s 176-run chase.

Nawaz added 67 runs for the fifth-wicket with his captain Shadab Khan who turned the game on its head by scoring 23 runs off Naseem Shah’s over -18th of the innings to ease out the nerves in Northern’s camp.

Shadab who got off to a sedate start scored 30 off 20 balls (three sixes, one four) with his three sixes and one four coming in Naseem’s over.

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The chase was duly completed on the first ball of the final over with Nawaz hitting the winning runs, top-order batter Haider Ali (40 off 27 balls, five fours, one six) and opener Nasir Nawaz (24 off 15, two fours, two sixes) had earlier set the platform of Northern’s chase.

Left-arm-spinner Hassan Khan took two wickets for the luckless Southern Punjab who are now languishing at the bottom of the six-team table after suffering their fourth consecutive defeat. Northern have now won two out of their three matches.

Earlier, Northern won the toss and opted to field, the Southern Punjab total was set-up by a swashbuckling innings of 75 off 47 balls by captain Sohaib Maqsood who promoted himself as an opener along with Zeeshan Ashraf. The left-hander Zeeshan perished for one, Sohaib added 74 runs for the second-wicket with Salman Ali Agha who scored a run-a-ball 24 was dismissed by Imad Wasim.

Sohaib hit eight fours and four gigantic sixes in his innings, he was eventually dismissed by pacer Musa Khan. Musa then got rid of the dangerous Khushdil Shah (20), Sohaib and Khushdil added 49 runs for the third-wicket.

The pair of Aamer Yamin (23 off nine balls, three fours, one six) and Azam Khan (18 off 12, two sixes) hit some big shots in the death overs to propel Southern Punjab to their impressive total.

Musa took three wickets for 40 runs, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad and Haris Rauf took a wicket apiece for Northern.